World Monitor Magazine April 2017 - Page 101

trend locator Range Rover Velar Land Rover has expanded the Range Rover brand with an all-new model called the Velar. It will slot between the Range Rover Sport and the smaller Evoque when it goes on sale later this year. Effectively growing the Range Rover brand into a four-strong range, it will also provide the brand with a competitor to the long-line of coupe SUVs, such as the BMW X6, Mercedes-Benz GLE Coupe and Porsche Macan. “We strived towards a reductive approach, which is something I’ve always valued,” says Land Rover design director Gerry McGovern. “Simplicity is the hardest to achieve in design, but it’s the most rewarding.” Taking the codename used by Land Rover's development engineers to cloak the true identity of the 26 Range Rover prototypes in the late '60s (Velar is derived from the Latin word 'velare', meaning to veil or cover) the new mid-size Range Rover SUV shares its underpinnings with the Jaguar F-Pace, making it roughly equal in length and width. Measuring in at 4803mm in length, 1903mm wide and 1665mm tall it’s slightly longer and taller than the F-Pace (‎4731mm long, 2070mm wide and 1652mm tall) but the Velar’s 2874mm wheelbase is identical to its JLR counterpart. The exterior proportions and overall feel of the two vehicles are entirely different, however. The Range Rover Velar has a very familiar design, building on the family elements such as the horizontal head- and taillamps that bleed into the front and rear fenders, respectively, and the brand’s defining side strake -- though the latter has taken on a more contemporary execution to its older siblings. The Range Rover looks particularly dated alongside the Velar's more minimalistic approach. The Range Rover Velar is a very well executed new car in a burgeoning niche segment, and we imagine it will do quite well to satisfy the needs of well-heeled image-conscious consumers who primarily use their vehicles in urban environments and on paved surfaces. Audi’s RS 3 Sportback Audi’s RS 3 Sportback has finally received the upgraded powertrain of the all-new RS 3 sedan that debuted last fall at the 2016 Paris auto show. It means the handsome hatch is now extracting 400 horsepower and 354 pound-feet of torque from its turbocharged 2.5-liter inline-5, all of which is routed to the wheels via a 7-speed dual-clutch transmission and all-wheel-drive system. That’s a healthy jump on the 362 hp and 343 lb-ft that the RS 3 Sportback has been offering since the launch of the current-generation model in 2014. It means the car can now sprint to 62 mph from rest in just 4.1 seconds. The top speed is limited to 155 mph, though on request this limit can be raised to 174 mph. Along with its extra power, the engine’s weight has been reduced by a substantial 57 pounds via the use of lighter internals, namely a new aluminum crankcase. The RS 3 Sportback also adopts some of the changes of the updated 2017 A3 range. Tweaks have been made to the lights at both ends and the front bumper and grille now feature a more aggressive design. There’s also a new extended front splitter. Standard on the RS 3 Sportback is an active exhaust system, a driving modes selector, a widened track with sport-tuned suspension, 12.2-in brake discs at the front axle, and 19- inch wheels with 235/35-size tires at all four corners. Worthwhile options include adjustable dampers, carbon-ceramic brake discs, and RS- spec bucket seats. supported by EUROBAK 97